Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of WOODGREEN PARISH COUNCIL Held online on Tuesday 7th April 2020 at 7.30pm

 

Members present: Chairman John Clarke (JC), Cllr Lance Benest (LB), Sue Allpress (SA); Stewart Hall (SH) and Ed Hollinghurst (EH)

Also present: Vicky Eden (Clerk) and Cty Cllr Edward Heron (leaving at 8.45pm, after 19/20.219)

19/20.207 Attendance Book and Apologies for absence: The Attendance book is to be completed by Clerk. Apologies received and accepted from Cllr John Sanger (JS)

19/20.208 Declarations of interest: None declared.

19/20.209 Covid 19: 

  1. Electronic online meetings with respect to Covid 19. The Clerk explained that in line with The Local Authorities and Police Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police And Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020, Regulation (6), the definition of place of a parish council meeting has been extended to include more than one location and permits the inclusion of electronic, digital and virtual locations provided that any member attending remotely can be heard and where possible seen by other members and by the press and public and can hear and preferably see other members and the press and public. This online meeting has been set up to meet this criteria and, in line with current regulations, the agenda is to be published online and on the parish noticeboard three clear working days before a meeting but will also state joining instructions for members and the public. These changes are reflected in the updated Standing Orders (see 19/20.219) 

  2. To receive update in relation to ongoing situation and consider/approve any action to be taken. SA provided an update in relation to the Hale and Woodgreen Support Group (HWSG), a voluntary support group set up in the village, which is independent from the Parish Council. Matters are progressing well, with further correspondence to be forwarded to residents and volunteers shortly, and regular online meetings being held between the steering group members. One dedicated telephone number is to be set up shortly and will be displayed on the parish council website and noticeboard. SA also confirmed that Downton Link is contacting all existing clients and setting up systems accordingly.  It was noted that Hale has set up contacts for the collection of prescriptions for Hale residents https://www.haleparishcouncil.co.uk/post/neighbourhood-support and that local doctor surgeries are also offering support https://www.fordingbridgegps.co.uk and https://www.mysurgerywebsite.co.uk/index.aspx?p=J83043 

It was noted that there is much support throughout the village, with residents looking out for one another during these challenging circumstances, for which the members expressed their appreciation.

Much correspondence has been received from both Hampshire County Council (HCC) and NFDC in relation to their services and helpline numbers and this information can be found via their their respective websites: https://www.hants.gov.uk and http://www.nfdc.gov.uk/article/15728/Council-Services 

Clerk is also receiving regular regulatory guidance and has been advised that the Parish Council Annual Meeting may be held online in May, if the parish council wishes to do so. Both the Parish Council website and noticeboard are being updated with information as and when received.

19/20.210 Minutes of previous meeting on 03/03/2020: Following a discussion and review of the minutes, it was unanimously RESOLVED that the minutes be accepted as an accurate record and will be duly signed by the Chairman.

19/20.211 Matters arising from previous minutes not appearing as agenda items: 

  1. Maintenance of ditches - Members will inspect ditches with land owners when it is safe to do so.

  2. Excess water near village hall - Hampshire Highways have confirmed that a road closure is to be actioned this financial year to undertake repairs.

  3. Woodgreen Annual Litter Pick 2020 - This has been postponed and will not take place on 18th - 19th April 2020. Future date to be agreed.

  4. Annual Parish Meeting 2020 - Woodgreen Annual Parish Meeting will not take place on 28th April 2020 as planned. According to existing regulation, these meetings must be held between 1st March and 1st June each year - due to the current circumstances, Clerk is waiting for further guidance but has been advised that this meeting cannot be held online. NFNPA speaker (Climate and Nature Emergency; Responding as a Community) happy to speak later in year.

19/20.212 Public Participation Session: None present

19/20.213 District and County Councillor: Cty Cllr Heron provided an update in relation to both the district and county councils response to the Covid 19 pandemic. The district council’s services have been reduced (e.g waste and recycling centres have been shut and garden waste is not being collected at the present time) and NFDC is focusing on setting up and running distribution hubs on behalf of HCC to ensure that food and other essentials are delivered to those most at risk. One aim of the district council is to try and ensure that waste and recycling collections continue and it was advised that staff are being redeployed and retrained to meet additional needs. Car parking charges have also been suspended at the present time. In relation to New Forest car parks, Cty Cllr Heron advised that the Forestry Commission have locked all car parks with gates and erected barriers on others due to persistent problems with visitors due to the warm weather.

The County Council’s aims are as follows:

  • To support schools and early years provision

  • To support existing care service and working with commercial providers

  • To support children’s services

It was advised that only emergency road repairs were being undertaken at the present time, although members noted that some potholes had been repaired in the village. As support to those self isolating, the Cty Cllr said that there had been almost a 800% take up on the digital library service - details of which can be found here: https://www.hants.gov.uk/always-open-online 

The members were also advised of the early availability of the County Councillor grant, with an expedited payment process for applications relating to support for communities/groups working to support residents at this time.

Cty Cllr Heron expressed his thanks for the support offered by support groups in Hale and Woodgreen, for without these community groups, the county council would be overwhelmed. The Community groups are encouraged to refer to HCC helpline telephone numbers if necessary as reflected on its website. 

One further matter was then raised by the member in relation to the distribution by NFDC of black bin bags in the local area. The Cty Cllr advised that he would look into the matter.

 

19/20.214 Planning

a)    Planning Applications: The following application was received after the agenda was issued:

Application No:

20/00172

Proposed Works:

Single storey extensions; new porch; 2 new rooflights; replacement of car port; demolition of existing single storey extension; porch and garage; replacement roof; new doors and windows and cladding to existing outbuilding to facilitate additional incidental accommodation

Site Address:

Densome Cottage, Upper Densome Wood, Woodgreen, SP6 2QU

Comments Deadline 21st April 2020

As the next meeting of the parish council is on 5th May 2020, the Clerk is to contact Planning Officer to see if an extension to the comments deadline can be granted. 

b)    Tree Works Applications: None received

c)    Other Planning Matters: 

Decisions or no comments required - Planning: None received

Decisions or no comments required - Treeworks: None received

 

Correspondence about GDPR considerations in relation to Enforcement noted.

 

Parishioners are reminded to report any concerns in relation to breaches of planning online via the NFNPA website at http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/info/20041/enforcement/109/enforcement/4 or contact Clerk.

 

19/20.215 Roads, Ditches, Hedges and Footpaths: LB gave an update in relation to the recent repairs undertaken in the village. The members then asked the Cty Cllr for guidance in relation to hedge cutting. Non safety cuts are undertaken before 1st March each year (guidance says that cuts should not be undertaken between 1st March and 1st September to protect nesting birds), although it was highlighted that the county council are reducing cuts and contacting adjacent landowners to undertake the work. Cuts required due to road safety concerns are undertaken all year. Members are unhappy with the overgrown brambles on the verge leading into Woodgreen from the cattle grid on Brearmore Road as pedestrians cannot safely walk into the village and the Clerk will write to Forestry England to express the parish council’s concerns.

Parishioners are reminded to report any Highways concerns online via the Hampshire County Council (HCC) website at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/roadproblems or contact Clerk.

Parishioners are reminded to report any concerns in relation to Rights of Way online via the HCC website at https://www.hants.gov.uk/landplanningandenvironment/rightsofway/reportaproblem  or contact Clerk.

Parishioners are also reminded to report any concerns in relation to fly tipping on Forestry Commission land either by telephone 0300 0674601 or contact clerk.

19/20.216 Parish Lengthsman: LB is compiling worksheets for the next visits to the village on 20th April 2020 and 29th May 2020 and asked members for suitable tasks. It was raised that some posts are damaged which surround the small garden maintained by the Hale and Woodgreen Horticultural Society.

19/20.217 Cemetery Report: A request for a parishioner’s ashes to be interred with her spouse was approved (A10), a request for a memorial (C1) was approved and an amendment to a memorial has also been received (P17) and was approved at the meeting. Concerns in relation to decoration at graves noted and Chairman is to draft a letter to forward to the member of public who raised the matter accordingly.

19/20.218 Reading Room: New solicitor acting for both the insurer and the parish council is unable to proceed with claim at present due to current working conditions - Clerk will continue to chase for further updates when available. Fire proof cabinets cannot be purchased via County Supplies but grant may be available in the future.

19/20.219 Regulatory Documentation: Clerk advised that she had updated (and forwarded to members prior to the meeting) some of the regulatory documentation as follows:

  • Standing Orders amended to reflect changes in line with The Local Authorities and Police Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police And Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 permitting online meetings and allowing the postponement of the Parish Council Annual Meeting 2020 (if required).

  • Financial Regulations amended to be in line with NALC Model Regulations 2019 and the future use of internet banking by the parish council has now been added.

  • Risk assessment amended to reflect risks in light of pandemics.

  • Fixed Asset Register is in line with the previous year as no new assets purchased nor existing ones disposed of. However, Clerk is to see if a surveyor can provide an up to date valuation of the Reading Room for insurance purposes.

Following discussion, the members RESOLVED to adopt these updated regulatory procedures. Members were also advised to check that they have an email disclaimer in place to continue to meet GDPR requirements

19/20.220 Recruitment of New Clerk: Expressions of interest have been received although applicants have been advised that interviews will be held once it is deemed safe to do so. The present Clerk advised that she was happy to continue working in her role until a new Clerk could be employed. Following discussion, it was RESOLVED to increase the future Clerk’s hours to 30 hours per month to meet the increased requirements of the role, with the current budget being monitored accordingly. Further consideration was given to the parish council having a different correspondence address to the Clerk’s personal address, although this is unable to be actioned at the current time.

19/20.221 IT:

  1. Hosting/Domain Name providers - If required, a new method of payment to be forwarded when invoices received. Further research is to be taken to see if SSL certificate and Captcha facility is required. 

  2. Storage -  It was agreed that further storage was not required to be purchased at the present time. 

  3. Accessibility Regulations - The Clerk advised that Parish Councils must meet accessibility standards by 23rd September 2020 and the website provider has been contacted for guidance. They have advised that there would be a cost of £750 to review and update site. Members agreed that further research is to be undertaken.

19/20.222 Correspondence: Correspondence forwarded to councillors prior to the meeting and the Clerk presented an overview highlighting the following:

  1. 20/03/2020 - Resident - Enquiry in relation to vegetable plot in village. The members advised that they were unaware of a suitable plot at the present time.

  2. 24/03/2020 - PKF Littlejohn - 2019-2020 AGAR PKF Littlejohn instructions delayed pending clarity over coronavirus implications

  3. 26/03/2020 - HALC - Local Contact List for Burial Authorities

  4. 26/03/2020 - ICO - Data Protection and Covid 19

  5. 27/03/2020 - Resident - Query in relation to No Parking Signage. Clerk to contact Forestry Commission for guidance

  6. 28/03/2020 - Hampshire Alert - Reports of Covid 19 Related Scams

  7. 02/04/2020 - NFDC - Publication of the Inspectors’ Report on the Examination of the New Forest District (outside the National Park) Local Plan 2016-2036 Part 1: Planning Strategy

  8. 03/04/2020 - Cty Councillor - COVID 19 - Early availability of Cty Cllr Grant

19/20.223 Finance:

  1. Review of Balances & Draft End of Year Accounts 2019-2020: Draft End of Year Accounts 2019-2020 forwarded to members and SH presented an overview

    1. Santander £70,000    

    2. NSI £5196.01 as at 01.01.2020

    3. Lloyds - as below :

Date

Item Description

Payment

VAT

Cheque no. 

Receipt

Balance

20/03/2020

Vicky Eden - Clerk’s Salary and Expenses- incl. overtime

£814.25

£9.11

1087

 

£8,690.55

03/03/2020

Bournemouth Water -Water costs at cemetery

£30.93

 

1088

 

£8,659.62

03/03/2020

ICCM - Annual Membership

£95.00

 

1089

 

£8,564.62

03/03/2020

Bill Pybus - Picture Framing for Reading Room

£135.00

 

1090

 

£8,429.62

03/03/2020

Cllr - John Clarke - Fittings for Reading Room

£18.80

£3.15

1091

 

£8,410.82

03/03/2020

NF Disability - Grant Aid 

£25.00

 

1094

 

£8,385.82

03/03/2020

Victim Support - Grant Aid

£25.00

 

1095

 

£8,360.82

04/03/2020

I N Newman - Burial Fees - P17

     

£200.00

£8,560.82

13/03/2020

Woodgreen VE Co-ordinating Group - Grant Aid - Activities for VE Day celebration

£100.00

 

1096

 

£8,460.82

13/03/2020

SSE - Electricity for the Reading Room

£58.64

£2.79

1097

 

£8,402.18

16/03/2020

Parish of Fordingbridge - Voluntary payment for use of the church for meetings 

£25.00

 

1099

 

£8,377.18

16/03/2020

I N Newman - Amended inscription to memorial C1

     

£100.00

£8,477.18

19/03/2020

HMRC - Clerk's income tax

£84.80

 

1100

 

£8,392.38

20/03/2020

Clerk refund of tax

     

£84.80

£8,477.18

27/03/2020

I N Newman - Interment of ashes Fees A10

     

£200.00

£8,677.18

Expenditure: It was RESOLVED that the following cheques were approved and are to be signed:

Cheque No

Payee

Details

TOTAL COST

1101

Victoria Eden 

Clerk’s Salary and Expenses (including working from home allowance, stationery and post - April 2020) 

£334.39

1102

T P Jones

Payroll costs

£54.00

1103

Michael Easterbrook Cutting Edge 

Cemetery maintenance

£80.00

1104

Woodgreen Village Hall 

Donation via rental of Halls Field received 2019-2020

£160.00

Pensions Regulator: The Clerk confirmed that Compliance Redeclaration completed before deadline of 31st March 2020.

Banking Arrangements: Following discussion, members RESOLVED to adopt internet banking with existing provider. Clerk to follow procedures adopted in updated Financial Regulations and will enquire as to whether a member may have View Only access.

19/20.224 Meetings attended: SA - HWSG Meetings x 2; SA/JC/ SH - Cemetery Working Group Meeting - 13/03/20; JC - NF Consultative Panel Meeting - 05/03/20; JC - Quadrant Meeting - 09/03/20

19/20.225 Matters to be raised on next agenda: Insurance; Governance

19/20.226 Date of Next Meeting: It was agreed for the Parish Council Annual meeting to be held online on Tuesday 5th May 2020 at 7.30pm. 

 

JC closed the meeting at 9.35pm. 

 

Contact details: Clerk: Vicky Eden, 24 Lyster Road, Fordingbridge, SP6 1QY

Email: parish.clerk@woodgreen-pc.gov.uk Tel: 01425 655707 (normal working hours only please)

 

Minutes, including appendices and other documentation, can also be found on our website: www.woodgreen-pc.gov.uk         

           

These are draft minutes until approved at the next meeting